At this time of year, with everyone shopping and making Christmas lists, I can’t help but think of Varuca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory screaming, “I want more!!”
It’s the season of giving but even that can be too materialistic. It is so easy to overspend so that our kids get the best gifts among their friends, or so that they aren’t the only one not to get that one big gift this year.
Sigh! We have become a society of chasing impossible shallow goals at the expense of what is most important. I do it too. That need to be or have the best of anything or to have most of anything is alluring. We compare ourselves with the people around us and it seems like we aren’t happy if anyone is “beating us”.
When did life become a game where no one can win? When did we accept the ridiculous idea that our happiness depends on no one being happier than us? This mentality always leads to unhappiness and unfulfillment because you can NEVER have enough of something you don’t need!
This truth was really driven home to me several years ago. My husband and I were watching one of those “extreme homes” type of shows (I don’t remember which one) and there was this man who was renovating his home with the best materials and sparing absolutely no expense.
We were fascinated as he paid millions of dollars for flooring and fixtures. He seemed most proud of the marble he used in his master bathroom. It was about 50 million dollars if I remember correctly and was supposed to be the most rare and the most beautiful marble in the world.
As you can imagine, his home was beautiful and everything was the very best. The owner was beaming with pride. Then at the end of the show there was an update that said one month after he completed his home an even more rare and expensive marble was discovered. The man said he couldn’t even stand to go into his master bathroom and look at the marble anymore because he knew it wasn’t the best.
I remember just sitting there shocked. This man had a home anyone would have loved. It was beautiful and made from the best of everything. The marble in his bathroom was exquisite. And yet he was not just unsatisfied, he was unhappy living there because one part of his home was made with a material that was not “the best”.
Obviously, this was a very extreme case but don’t we all do that sometimes. We get a phone that works well for us and meets all of our wants and needs and we love it until a new “better” version comes out. Then we can see nothing but flaws in our phone. Or we have a dress that is flattering and stylish but we don’t wear it because it doesn’t have the right brand name. Like Varuca Salt we keep saying I want more.
If it is true that you can not ever have enough of something you don’t need, then how can we ever be satisfied when we have so much? I believe that the antidote to this need to be and have the best is gratitude. If we can focus on being grateful for what we have and stop comparing ourselves with other people, I believe we will have much more happiness.